Interview with Anton Khaburskiy, Master in Management alumnus class of 2011
“I came to IE to study marketing, but got an unforgettable, life-changing experience.”
Before joining IE, Anton Khaburskiy already had a successful career with the Coca-Cola Company, but the Master in Management (MIM) from IE Business School gave his career a new boost. Anton is now consultant at one of the best management consulting firms – Bain & Company. We are speaking with him today about his experience at IE and how it helped his professional and personal development.
For a bright individual like you many doors were opened at many universities around the world. Why did you choose IE among the many?
After graduating from the State University of Management in Moscow majoring in economics, I gained my first working experience in a large international company. However, after some time I realized that I want to continue education in a reputable western university. The turning point leading to this decision was a case competition in Dubai organized by KMPG. It was extremely international with participants from all over the world and lots of team work. And it was exactly what I liked about the competition: learning from other people of various backgrounds, exchanging ideas and thus growing professionally and personally. Upon my return from Dubai, the decision was made: I want to study in exactly the same diverse and stimulating environment. And I started the search.
Three criteria were of outmost importance to me. First of all, diversity, or in other words, having many different nationalities and various backgrounds in the classroom. Secondly, practical approach: learning from professors who have experience in the business world and apply a case-based teaching method. And thirdly, reputation reflected in rankings and opinions about a school in business circles. IE scored highest on these criteria and soon I was on my way to Madrid.
What were your expectations of the program and to what extent were they fulfilled?
I was 23 back then and very much interested in marketing. I thought that the MIM program would help me gain more insight into the discipline and allow to approach marketing problems from a managerial point of view. However, a year at IE gave me much more than that. It allowed to gain a broad, strategic understanding of business in general and shaped my understanding of various business processes.
To my surprise, I was enjoying such classes like business processes, HR strategy, organizational behaviour no less than I was enjoying marketing disciplines. Moreover, I was savouring various project-based activities: having a problem that needed to be solved in the most effective manner under a certain deadline. This is when I started realizing how interesting management consulting could be.
Frankly speaking, at the beginning, I didn’t know what to expect of the program. It was a totally new experience for me. But soon, I realized that it was much more than business education. It was a year filled with new opportunities, meeting amazing people, trying new things, participating in many exciting activities, while staying in a low-risk environment. Now I understand that it was probably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
It was a full-time master, which means that you had a privilege of living in one of the most beautiful cities of the world – in Madrid – for a year. How did that go?
I absolutely enjoyed it and was feeling very comfortably in Madrid. I shared an apartment with three more MIM students from other sections, and it was great. We organized lots of parties there, and I think there was hardly one MIM student that has never been in our apartment at some point during the year. So, in all respects, that year was magnificent.
After the master, what was your experience finding a job? How relevant is what you learned at IE for your everyday work?
The program itself gave an idea of management consulting: solving problems, working in teams, on tight deadlines. The program also allowed me to better understand various business problems, connections among them and why they are so important for the management. I learned many practical tools that I am applying in my work, such as statistics, business information, marketing, etc. But most importantly, thanks to the MIM program, I acquired skills that are key in management consulting: problem-solving (structuring, finding connections and organizing business process), team work (long hours spent working in groups turned out to be very helpful) and presentational skills that help to sell ideas.
Speaking of the job search, having Europe’s best business school in a resume definitely helps. I had interviews in Spain, Germany and Dubai, which I got thanks to the IE network. The dedicated career center was very helpful, while IE’s extensive connections in the business world were definitely a big advantage.
What are you missing most after graduating from IE in 2011?
What I am missing most is that unique environment that allowed me to press “pause” on the old life with its commitments and instead to feel free to try new things, experiment and implement new ideas. The environment filled with talented people. The environment that encourages creativity and unconventionality.
And finally … a few words of wisdom from a successful IE graduate for future master students.
I recommend to get the maximum out of the year. IE has so much to offer! Participate in various clubs, attend events, go out and meet people! And definitely take time to discover the city and Spain in general. And then a year at IE will become priceless.